The Clean Energy Economy by the Numbers

Posted on 14. Jan, 2010 by in Business & Policy, Clean Tech, Design & Culture

green jobs

A clean energy economy applies to more than global warming—it’s just good ‘economic’ sense.    As worldwide demand for clean tech and design continues to grow, it provides America with the opportunity to become a technological leader once again.   New industries will create new jobs and generate new sources of income.  At a time when the United States is recovering from a  recession, the clean energy economy could be one of the greatest opportunities in the 21st century.

The Pew Center recently came out with out with one of the best economic reports detailing what the clean energy economy is, where it’s at, and where it’s going. The Pew Center defines the clean energy economy as an “economy [that] generates jobs, businesses, and investments while expanding energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing green house emissions, waste, and pollution, and conserving water and other natural resources”.

In addition, the Pew Center has indentified 5 categories:

  1. Clean energy
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Environmentally friendly production
  4. Conservation and pollution mitigation goods and services
  5. Training and support for foregoing activities

Clean energy economy by the numbers at the end of 2007:

  • More than 68,000 businesses across 50 states, accounting for 770,000 jobs that achieved double bottom line of economic growth and environmental sustainability;
  • The clean energy economy is bigger than bio-tech industry, representing 2.5% of total employment compared to 1% of total employment, respectively;
  • Clean energy jobs grew 9.1% from 1998 to 2007, whereas total jobs grew only 3.7%;
  • Growing interest, support, and investment from private sector has increased, resulting in $12.6 billion  in venture capitalism during past 3 years
  • Last but not least, th public sector and governmental regulation has increased as well, starting with Obama signing a bill for $85 billion to cultivate a clean energy economy

While many ‘green’ jobs might appear to be esoteric and reserved for highly experienced and educated professionals, Pew research indicates the clean energy economy will present job growth for a wide array of Americans across economic and educational spectrums.  Pew estimates incomes ranging from $21,000 to $111,000 will be generated in this emerging economy.  Furthermore,  the largest sectors of growing jobs are in Conservation and Pollution Mitigation, Clean Energy, and Energy Efficiency.   Here is a quick list of job titles in each of these:

  • carpenters to for product installation in homes, businesses, and government buildings
  • electrical engineers
  • electricians
  • engineers developing energy efficient lighting, meters,  and software programs
  • environmental consultants
  • machinists and system operators
  • mechanics
  • plant operators
  • plumbers
  • researchers and technicians
  • scientists and technicians
  • trained workers to safely remediate hazardous materials from industrial sites

The clean energy economy is has sustained tremendous growth for the past 12 years and looks like it will continue on the same path for years to come.  Of course, this potential is only limited to the nation’s ability to cultivated and establish these jobs and market places. As we enter into 2010 and the new decade, the clean green economy is a growing platform for business opportunity, social and cultural revival,  and a matter that will be addressed by local, state, and federal governments.


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3 Responses to “The Clean Energy Economy by the Numbers”

  1. Chathri

    14. Jan, 2010

    I like the infographic. And it’s nice to see that the segmentation for what ‘green jobs’ really mean for the average worker.

  2. Amanda Crater

    15. Jan, 2010

    Great post with excellent information. Thanks for this, it’s very useful to me!

  3. [...] Clean Energy Economy is emerging.  Jobs are being created across the spectrum and industries are going through [...]

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